Funny, Silly Words No One Really Uses
Some time in the life of most anyone who plays with words, whether for a living or for fun, certain types of words come to their attention.
I speak, of course, of the good supply of overly long and seldom or never-used words that nonetheless appear in the dictionary. The are fun to read, fun to play with, fun to roll off the tongue, and even fun to attempt using them in a sentence.
These words fall under the definition of "polysyllabic," itself a rather long word, meaning having several syllables.
I've linked some of them to a source for a more detailed definition. You can simply right-click on the links, and select "open in new tab" to keep reading the article, and check out the deeper definitions at your leisure, or you can then easily bounce back and forth between each new definition and the article.
If I were a gambling type, I’d be willing to lay odds that the first such word most of us encounter is,
It means, according to Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged Second Edition, (1973),
“Opposition to the disestablishment of a church or religious body; specifically strong opposition to the disestablishment of a State Church…”
It’s not a word I’ve ever heard anyone use except for the fun of saying it.
The first example is followed by a few other choice goofy, and pretty much useless words. Useless, unless, of course, you need to write a nasty letter, and need a five-dollar word to call someone a blithering idiot, and send them to the dictionary to figure that out! ;-)
"Big Words" Thesaurus
A thesaurus of big words; "translations" for the rest of us
This one you may have experienced for yourself, heard, been present for, or even participated in. Exsibilation refers to the generalized, overall hissing sound of a displeased audience.
It can happen at a theater performance, but I imagine these days, it's more likely to be heard aimed at political speech-makers.
Now, this is something I know nearly everyone has experienced at one time or another in their lives.
It refers to being over-stuffed with food from over-eating. I can think of at least one annual holiday at which this happens. Who has never over-indulged at Thanksgiving dinner? Be honest, now!
This comes under medical diagnostic terminology. It is an obscure term ostensibly referring to a lung disease caused by silica dust, sometimes cited as one of the longest words in the English language.
Oh, I just know there are people like this--some daily--some every weekend.
Being 'gambrinous' means full of beer. How many beer-drinkers do you know that have a 'liquid diet' all weekend long?
Here's another medical term, and you don't want to hear about this. It's a surgeon's "Ooops!" moment. We don't like to hear "oops" in the operating room, or afterwards.
This means the accidental leaving of a surgical sponge inside the patient's body. Oh, no! Can we say, "malpractice?"
(approximate pronunciation: floss-i naw-see-ni-hil-i-pill-if-ication) is a really rare word.
Its meaning is, the estimation of something as valueless. It is encountered mainly as an example of one of the longest words in the English language. It is also a deliberately coined word made up by university students trying to be funny. As such, its status as a real word is in dispute.
This article discusses exactly this! It means pertaining to extremely long words, and the word describing it also fits the definition.
Gee--some of these would be good fodder for my article on tongue-twisters! Who needs a whole sentence or phrase, when some words stand alone as such?
Sesquipedalian. Using, or tending to use very long words; long, polysyllabic. Obviously related to the word just above, this refers to the person with such a habit, or the act of doing so.
Useful "Big Words" for Kids
A fun book for kids, introducing "big words" that are actually useful, such as "cooperation."
This is a good one, and applies to so many, many politicians!
"Inaniloquent" refers to the act of saying silly or foolish things. What a great five-dollar word to call a politician out as that blithering idiot!
Oh, what a great word discovery! Next time you are feeling low and blue, just say, "I have the mulligrubs."
It is a state of being in low spirits.
Aha!! I've found out what my mother actually was! She was a "cruciverbalist;" a person who loves doing crossword puzzles! She would have loved discovering this word! Who knows; perhaps she did, for she loved word play as much as I do.
And that is the only place you are likely to find many of these words: in crossword puzzles!
The Big Words Poll
Do you like to use big words?See results without voting
Big Words for Fun
This book has quite a sagacious collection of words both polysyllabic and euphonious ;-)
Here's a truly weird one--I'd be willing to be very few, if any people have heard this one bandied about.
Melcryptovestimentaphilia is another medical or pseudo-medical term with the general meaning of "a fondness for black female underwear."
It goes deeper than that, but in the interests of Hub Pages protocols, I've edited out the rest of the definition. You can read the details via the link.
Oh, my gosh! This happens to me more and more often as I age!
Lethologica is the inability to recall an exact word for something. How's that for useful?
"I was going to go fix the... um... uh... hmm--I seem to be suffering from lethologica!"
This is someone who talks about, or offers (usually unsolicited) opinions on matters about which they have no knowledge. Again, this would seem to cover a lot of politicians.
And that goes right along with the next and final entry in this list:
This being a person who pretends to know more than they do for the purpose of trying to impress people.
And that wraps up my excursion into goofy, nearly useless words that are nonetheless fun to know about and play with. I hope you've enjoyed the trip.
Now You Are a Know-It-All
At least, you now know more than you ever wanted to know about useless words that lurk in our already confusing-enough English language.
© 2012 Liz Elias
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